How to keep your barbecue clean so it’s always ready for your next party

 A barbecue is the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening – don’t let your smoky, unclean grill drive your friends and family off the deck and into the house. Follow Goldstar Cleaning Services’ tips on keeping your grill clean so that it’s always ready for your next party. 1. Get the right cleaning tools – and use them It’s easier to clean off the grill while it’s still hot, and before all the little bits of meat have burned and dried on it, potentially causing foul odours next time you grill. In mountain towns like Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford the smell of food on barbecues can attract bears into your neighbourhood, so it’s particularly important to get them clean. The most effective cleaning tool is simply a stiff wire brush to clean down the grill each time you use it. A long-handled brush will make it easier to get into all the nooks and crannies without risking burning yourself. Replace it every year to stop the wire bristles getting blunt and bent out of shape, making it less effective at cleaning.   2. Steam clean If you forgot to brush down the grill after your last barbecue, or if you’re only just getting into the habit of cleaning it, chances are your grate has some pretty heavy-duty burned-on food waste that may even be causing foul odours or smoke. To loosen off the debris, take a scrunched-up newspaper, soak it in water and put it on the grill over a low flame for around 20 minutes, with the lid closed. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t stay on so long that all the water evaporates.
This will loosen off all the burned-on food, allowing you to clean it as above.
  3. Oven cleaner A chemical oven cleaner can also be used to loosen food scraps. Take off the cold grate and lay it on some sheets of newspaper, then spray with the oven cleaner, making sure to stand upwind so you don’t breath in the fumes, and use gloves to prevent skin irritation. Leave for 5-10 minutes and then use a wire brush to clean.   4. Inside the barbecue If you use lava rocks or ceramic stones, take them out and soak in a bucket of water with a squirt of dish soap to loosen off any grease drips or food scraps. Use an all purpose kitchen cleaner and wipe the bottom of the grill clean, being careful with any gas outlets. Replace rocks or stones after cleaning them with a scouring sponge if necessary.   5. Protect your grill from the elements Extend your barbecue’s shelf-life by keeping it covered with a heavy-duty, shaped cover that will keep it protected from all the elements. Choose the grill’s location so it isn’t under any drips or snow slides from the roof. This will also make the head chef’s life a lot nicer! If you don’t use your barbecue in winter, move it into a garage or shed.

How a security check can help reduce your vacation home insurance premium

Most insurance companies now require a signed report showing that an empty vacation home has been checked once or twice a month during the off-season.

Goldstar cleaning crews will combine their housekeeping visit with an insurance security check, and record the date, time, and results of their visit so you can send a clear record to your insurance company.

This means you get to enjoy your vacation time without worrying about cleaning – and it could save your house insurance premiums from rocketing if you need to claim repairs.

Security checklist

Goldstar cleaning crews routinely check for:

• Open or unlocked windows and doors all around the building

• Signs of an attempted break-in or vandalism

• Lights or appliances that have accidentally been left on, causing high energy bills and a risk of fire.

• Broken or incorrectly programmed heating systems, which could cause your pipes to freeze in winter

• Sounds or signs that there might be a water leak or damage

• Early signs of rodent or pest infestation

They also:

• Flush each toilet and scrub the water line to avoid build-up of limescale

• Check all lights to make sure no bulbs have blown

• Can carry out deep cleaning tasks, such as carpet or furniture steam cleaning

Potential damage

Goldstar owner Jill Barclay has seen firsthand the damage that can be caused by a small problem that is left unnoticed for weeks.

“I knew one client who started using our services after a pipe in their basement burst, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

“When they last visited the home it would only have been a small drip in the water filtration system that they didn’t notice, but during the summer the pipe burst, flooding the entire basement.

“Unfortunately because they hadn’t used any kind of security check contingency plan, the insurance was cancelled and they had to cover the huge cost of the damage themselves.”

Rental peace of mind 

When you rent out your vacation home, it’s particularly important to make sure everything is in good shape before your renters get there, says Jill.

“At another of our client’s homes, snow had piled up against a plexi glass barrier around the deck, causing it to shatter and making it unsafe to use.

“We came round to check the vacation home ahead of a rental, and were able to clean it up and get it replaced before the renters got there, which meant the owners didn’t have to cancel the booking or deal with poor reviews of their rental vacation home.”

Contact Goldstar now to arrange for a personalized quote to clean and check your home.

How to Get Your Rental Damage Deposit Back

Goldstar Cleaning Services is regularly called into private rental homes by landlords or tenants – these are our tips for how you can save yourself a cleaning fee, get your damage deposit back and ensure your rental is ready for the next tenants. Start preparing from day one • If you can keep the house clean throughout your tenancy, it will save you a lot of hassle when you decide to leave. Draw up a schedule with your roommates and make sure all the high-traffic areas are cleaned weekly. • Take photos of every room before you move in, and arrange for a walk-through with your landlord. Make a note of any existing damage so you don’t get blamed for it. • Take steps to prevent mess – put mats down in the entranceway and create storage for outdoor shoes. Put tin foil in the bottom of the oven and use foil stove element guards. Use stacks of plastic crates to separate recycling as you create it, and remember to put the garbage out every week for collection. When you leave – don’t forget these cleaning tasks • Clean inside the cupboards and drawers – especially in the kitchen and bathrooms • Check the walls, baseboards and doors in high traffic areas for fingerprints, scuffs and stains and wipe them down. Don’t forget the staircase! • We’re always amazed how many people forget to clean the inside of the fridge! • Clean inside the microwave. If it is caked with food, put a wet cloth or a mug of water inside and microwave it for 15 seconds – it will soften up and make it easier to wipe down. • Remove all your belongings, garbage, leftover food and recycling – if you don’t want it, your landlord definitely doesn’t want it. • Mountain towns often have very hard water so unless you have wiped down the shower stall and bath tiles after every use, there will be a build up of limescale in the bathroom. Use CLR cleaner to remove it. If all else fails – get in the professionals Goldstar Cleaning Services offers move out cleaning services to tenants and landlords – our experienced cleaning team will deep-clean every inch of your property.